Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back when I was a kid.... mom used to make a great cake for our family birthday celebrations which became a tradition for many years. It's called an Ice Box Log Cake and it's a super simple cake made with Nabisco's Famous  Chocolate Wafers  (super thin chocolate cookies) and homemade whipped cream (with a touch of vanilla and sugar.)  

...and so easy.  You make spread generous amounts of the cream on each cookie and set them aside in little stacks.  Then you assemble the stacks on their sides into a log and cover with cream.  Once your put it in the refrigerator to chill, the cream moistens and expands the cookies into soft yummy cake. (Told you it was easy.)  The neat thing is that when you cut the cake on a diagonal it looks like this...

It's like eating the lightest, fluffiest, tastiest cookies and cream cake. (It has an Oreo taste.)

I knew I'd be making a big birthday cake and cupcakes for Gianna's party, but I wanted a little something special for her actual birthday.  I started doing some research and discovered that there are MANY people who grew up enjoying this wonderful cake in the 60's and 70's.  The one complaint is that the wafers are super hard to find. You can order them on the internet, but I understand there are a lot of broken cookies and you have to order an entire case - which is much more than I need or want to spend. 

The more I started thinking about how much time and/or money I might waste in search of these chocolate wafers, the more inspired I became to see if anyone had a copycat recipe for them.  Oh how I love Google!  I found the recipe here and I had all the ingredients at home - so it made things so much easier. The recipe for the Icebox cake is here. (You can add a little sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it a bit.)

I didn't tell my parents I was making this cake, so I think they were really surprised that I was able to resurrect such a memorable part of our family history.  It was my brother's favorite cake growing up (mine too) but he's been working in Florida, so he didn't get to see/eat it.  Don't worry Uncle Vinnie, I'll make you one when you come back.

Now we have a new Lewis Family Tradition!
Two thumbs up from the three year old!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One good shot...

Sometimes people remark that they are impressed with my daughter's willingness to have pictures taken of her.
Just to get one decent shot of my new three year old, we had to go through these...
My goal in picture taking is to get one good shot.

This was the last one I took in this comical series....
Maybe it was the last, because I stopped when I got one good shot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Singing in the rain...

After having experiencing quite a drought in SW Louisiana earlier this summer, Giannaa started to notice the grass and the plants weren't looking very healthy. When I told her they were dying because they were not getting enough water, she started praying for rain. She'd bow her head, fold her hands, close her eyes and say, "Dear God, please send rain for the plants don't die."

They nexr day she was walking around in her rain boots and I asked her why she them on she said,
"It's going to rain today."
"Really?" I asked.
"Remember I prayed for rain?" have such faith!

It didn't rain that day, but it did several days later.  She was SO excited and exlaimed, "Mommy! God heard my prayer!!!"

So we definitely had to show our appreciation by 'Singing in the Rain."
She actually loves the movie (we've let her watch all the musical numbers) and knows the song.

 Thunder still gets her a little nervous (since our dern firework nightmare) but she's definitely getting better.
After the really loud claps we usually hear...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Old School Crafts

Our friend and babysitter bought Gianna a set of Disney Princesses on her recent trip to the magic kingdom.  Gianna has been playing with them non-stop, so we thought the princesses needed a home of some sort.  I took a shoe box and some scrapbook paper and made an old-fashioned diorama/castle.  Gianna got quite a kick out of the process.....and the result. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fingerpainting Fun

They were chomping at the bit to get to the sun porch where the paint was...
John Paul was the perfect finger-painter...even though he sported a fake, temporary head wound.
 Sophia painted longer than anyone else, and made strides in actually getting paint ON her fingers....
 Therese decided blue paint dipped in crayon was a fabulous creation...
 Elise didn't get a drop of paint on her...
 And her sweet baby brother was great inspiration for their art...
And then there's Gianna...

I shouldn't even have to tell you what her experience was like. (Or MINE for that matter!)
I'm sure her painting is still not dry -- even three days later. 
 Thanks, Kate, for lunch, and for hosting this brave little art party.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Lots going on...

....just no time to post about them.

Until then, I thought maybe a shot of my 'freshly three' munchkin might tie you over.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a THREE YEAR OLD in the HOOUUSSEEE!!!!!
Yes, indeedy ~ our little munchkin is THREE!!!
Three has got to be one of my absolute favorite ages.
They are little people who are capable of big conversations and start grasping big concepts, but they still have a little bit of baby pudge left in their faces and hands and you can still see your baby when you look at them.

I remember when I was a youth minister, I ran a Vacation Bible School with my teens for 3-5 year olds.  I would say, "Five year olds:  line up behind ME!"  And they did.
Then I'd say, "Four year olds: line up behind ME!"  And they quickly fell into line.
Then I'd get to the littlest ones, "Three year olds: line up behind ME!"
And without fail, their little eyes would widen with excitement and like popcorn, their responses shot out, "I'm FREE!" "I'm FREE" "Hey, I'm free, TOOO!!!"
Of course, they never made it into a line, but it was just so fun to watch them celebrate themselves.
Even at the last day, when they performed their little songs for the parents, the three year olds would run up to me and hug me after each song. SO cute.
I am so excited for this fun age with Gianna.

We've all heard the war stories of the 'terrible twos' from those that have gone before us, but more and more often I'm hearing, "Two was a breeze! Watch out for THREE!" or "Three is the new two." 

Within a few weeks of her third birthday, we have witnessed one change in her personality, that we weren't prepared for.  D R A M A!!!!!!
Holy Cannoli.  When it's not exasperating, it's quite comical. And it was like someone just flipped a switch in her.
Example:  After a Time-Out episode the other day, I went to get her and told her that I wanted to be sure she understoood that she would no longer be able to play with her new guitar that evening.
She gasped, threw her forehead into her open hands and with as much dramatic expression as she could muster, cried,
"OHHH NOOOO!!!!! That is just HYSTERICAL!"
Obviously, she misused the word, but it was as a dramatic a word as she could come up with on the spot.

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